Tagged: How Do You Manage Conflict?
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April 10, 2020 at 5:16 am #2741JeffAltmanCoachKeymaster
Here, I have one of those tough interview questions that, for you, as a senior professional, is an important one to be prepared to answer. I want to say. I know the traditional answer but there’s got to be a twist at the back end of it and it has to be delivered well.
If you’ve watched any of my stuff before, you know that I’m a big believer in “the theater of interviewing.” Part of it is not just simply what you say but how you say it in order to be persuasive and to demonstrate congruence with the ideas that you’re trying to communicate.
So, when I see this question, “how do you manage conflict,” the traditional answer is to talk about consensus-building you listen to the opinions and inputs from other people. You negotiate. You persuade. You build consensus among the different constituencies until you come to a resolution. Yeah, that’s one answer for someone at a manager level.
But when you start entering the C-suite or executive level positions, you have to add a twist to this and the twist is to say, “and sometimes you have to do the unpopular thing. You have to bring the discussion to a close because eventually when all you’re doing is going around in circles with people stating and restating opinions, once we get to a point where I notice this happening, I have to make a decision for my team and decide the way we’re going to do it. I want to bring this to a successful conclusion as quickly as possible, but always making sure that people believe that they’re heard. So yes, I try to do consensus-building. I listen to my team because they are my team and they give themselves to me freely. And I don’t want to lose them. These are important people in my success, but they also know that there’s a point where we have to come together. And, ultimately, I have to make the decision. So once I made that decision, I want everyone on board with it.
And that’s one of the things I seek out at the beginning. Is there agreement that once we’ve gone through my process, once I’ve heard them heard them twice, heard them state and re-steak their opinion, I make a decision. We all have to come together. ”
So that’s the twist. If you are a more senior individual, as opposed to at the managerial level, you focus on the consensus building.
Yes, it’s true of you as well. But the expectation of the answer is different when your manager versus when your executive. No, that difference,, position yourself accordingly in how you answer this question.
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